Testing the efficacy of atmospheric boundary layer height detection algorithms using uncrewed aircraft system data from MOSAiC Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. During the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition, meteorological conditions over the lowest 1 km of the atmosphere were sampled with the DataHawk2 (DH2) fixed wing uncrewed aircraft system (UAS). Of particular interest is the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) height, as ABL structure can be closely coupled to cloud properties, surface fluxes, and the atmospheric radiation budget. The high temporal resolution of the UAS observations allows us to subjectively identify ABL height for 65 out of the total 89 flights conducted over the central Arctic Ocean between 23 March and 26 July 2020 by visually analyzing profiles of virtual potential temperature, humidity, and bulk Richardson number. Comparing this subjective ABL height with the ABL heights identified by various previously published objective methods allows us to determine which objective methods are most successful at accurately identifying ABL height in the central Arctic environment. The objective methods we use are the Liu-Liang, Heffter, virtual potential temperature gradient maximum, and bulk Richardson number methods. In the process of testing these objective methods on the DH2 data, numerical thresholds were adapted to work best for the UAS-based sampling. To determine if conclusions are robust across different measurement platforms, the subjective and objective ABL height determination processes were repeated using the radiosonde profile closest in time to each DH2 flight. For both the DH2 and radiosonde data, it is determined that the bulk Richardson number method is the most successful at identifying ABL height, while the Liu-Liang method is least successful.;

publication date

  • January 3, 2022

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • January 4, 2022 5:22 AM

Full Author List

  • Jozef G; Cassano J; Dahlke S; de Boer G

author count

  • 4

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